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Sunday, April 20, 2014

Defending champion proves mettle

Joel Ortega plays for Saipan Badminton Club, which eked out an 18-12 win over Community Badminton Club last week in the Traders Insurance tournament at the TSL Sports Complex. (ROSELYN B. MONROYO) Defending champion Saipan Badminton Club won its highly anticipated duel against the fast-rising Community Badminton Club in the 7th Traders Insurance Badminton Team Tournament.

SBC, which topped the last two editions of the annual tournament and is expected to meet a tough opposition in the young crew of CBC, pulled off an 18-12 victory after sweeping the final three matches of the their pairing last Friday at the TSL Sports Complex.

The SBC-CBS tussle started on Nov. 24 with the defending champion taking a slight edge, 9-6, after five games. SBC won three matches, gaining 6 points after sweeping the women’s AB and men’s B doubles and 2 more off a three-game victory in the men’s C doubles. A team is awarded 3 points from winning a match after only two games and 2 in a threegame tiff. CBC, which has a roster composed of mainly U18 players, earned 3 points in the mixed B doubles and two in the men’s BC doubles.

The young club then threatened an upset against the veteran players of SBC after sweeping the first two matches at the resumption of their duel last Friday. CBC was awarded 6 points after prevailing in the women’s B and men’s AB doubles and took the lead, 12-9.

However, SBC had the last laugh, as it dominated CBC in the last three matches. The defending champion swept CBC in the mixed C and BC doubles, and women’s A doubles, to gain 9 more points and foiled its fiercest foe’s upset bid.

After a morale-boosting victory over CBC, the two-time winner came out smoking in its second assignment, routing Golden Racquets, 25-5. SBC coasted to the 20-point win after sweeping the five remaining games last Sunday. It finished the women’s AB, and the mixed B, AB, and BC doubles after only two games to earn 12 points and got two more off a three-game victory in the mixed A doubles.

Golden Racquets managed to save one win in their earlier outing last Saturday, prevailing in the women’s B doubles, 2-1. SBC’s four wins last Saturday were recorded in the mixed AB and men’s A doubles (via two-game sweeps) and women’s A and B doubles (three-game victories).

In other results over the weekend, Golden Racquets completed its second assignment and won over Taga Badminton Club, 20-10. Golden Racquets earlier led Taga, 9-6, after dominating four of the first five matches set for Nov. 24. At the resumption of their showdown, Golden Racquets notched four more wins (women’s A and B, and men’s B doubles, and mixed C doubles), while Taga avoided a shutout last Saturday with a victory in the mixed BC doubles.

Meanwhile, CBC bounced back from a tough loss to SBC with a close 16-14 triumph over Shirley’s Badminton Club. The last two mixed doubles events were the deciding factor in the neck-and-neck duel, as Shirley’s was ahead by a hair, 11-10, after seven matches. CBC then grabbed the driver’s seat after sweeping Shirley’s in the mixed AB and BC singles, putting into waste the latter’s 3-0 victory in the final match of the pairing (women’s AB doubles.

With the 2-point win, CBC now has a 48-42 record. SBC holds a 43-17 mark, Shirley’s owns a 40-20 card, while Golden Racquets and Taga have 35-55 and 14-46 records, respectively. The five participating clubs have five more playing days to complete the round-robin tournament and the Top 2 teams after the elimination will battle for the championship, while the No. 3 and 4 finishers will play for the third place trophy.

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